African players week in Europe: Cisse goal rush for Newcastle continues

AFP, Monday 9 Apr 2012

Cisse continues scoring rush, Drogba exhausted Wigan, Kone headed a goal and Jemal drew for Cologne

Papiss Cisse
Newcastle United's Papiss Cisse celebrates scoring against Swansea City (Photo: Reuters)

Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse continued his goal rush for Newcastle in the English Premier League with the brace that brought a 2-0 weekend victory at Swansea.

The mid-season signing from Bundesliga club Freiburg has netted nine times in eight outings while keeping the Magpies on course for European football next season.

There were also two-goal returns from Mali midfielder Bakaye Traore for Ligue 1 outfit Nancy in a 2-0 victory over Dijon and for Ghana midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah for Serie A side Udinese in a 3-1 triumph against Parma.


PAPISS DEMBA CISSE (Newcastle)             

The Senegal striker's goal rush continued as he scored twice in a 2-0 win over Swansea that kept the Magpies on course for European football next season. He has now scored nine goals in eight matches since being signed for a relatively modest £10 million ($16 million) from German club Freiburg by Newcastle manager Alan Pardew in the January transfer window. Against Swansea, he scored with both a powerful strike and a deft chip.


The Ivory Coast forward gave Wigan's defence a fairly tough work-out, although the visitors coped reasonably well during the course of a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge. He should have scored in the 35th minute when his header was cleared off the line by Maynor Figueroa. Then, on the stroke of half-time, he connected with a far-post header that drew a fine save from Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi.

ALEX SONG (Arsenal)

The Cameroon midfielder survived a horrible challenge by Mario Balotelli in the 20th minute at the Emirates Stadium to play his part in a 1-0 Arsenal win that all but put paid to Manchester City's title hopes. Was unlucky the Gunners did not make more of several perceptive passes.


The Malian former Real Madrid midfielder scored his first goal for Fulham when he set the seal on an impressive 3-0 win away to strugglers Bolton Wanderers. In the 79th minute, he slid the ball in from close range after John Arne Riise had surged down the left.



France-born Moroccan international Belhanda grabbed the opening goal for Ligue 1 leaders Montpellier in their 2-1 win over Sochaux with Senegalese star Camara grabbing the winner 10 minutes into the second half. Belhanda is a former French Under-20 international but switched allegiance to Morocco for whom he scored his first goal in January's Africa Cup of Nations.


Mali midfielder Traore scored after six minutes and added a second six minutes from time to give Nancy a 2-0 win at Dijon to consolidate his team's mid-table position.

ANDREW AYEW (Marseille)

The Ghana international hit his eighth league goal of the season but it was not enough to prevent Marseille losing 2-1 to Paris Saint Germain. Ayew equalised Jeremy Menez's sixth-minute opener on the hour mark. But Alex hit the PSG winner in the 61st minute to keep his side in Montpellier's slipstream.



Cologne thanked Tunisian international defender Ammar Jemal, on loan from Swiss side Young Boys, for their goal in a 1-1 home draw with Bremen. But the westerners remain in the drop zone a point behind Augsburg and two adrift of Hamburg.


Democratic Republic of Congo international Makiadi netted a late equaliser for Freiburg in a 2-2 draw with Nuremberg to keep the southerners out of the bottom five by the skin of their teeth. The Kinshasa-born 28-year-old, who has spent more than a decade in Germany, popped up in the 79th minute to rescue a point after his side had been 2-0 down at the break.



The Ghana midfielder had his most fruitful game in an Udinese shirt in the 3-1 win over Parma as he scored a brace. Asamoah had only notched one goal this season before this match but twice turned up in the right place at the right time. Firstly he arrived late in the box to shoot home from Antonio Di Natale's cushioned header, via a deflection, to open the scoring. And in injury time he added the killer third goal as he followed up Di Natale's saved shot to slide in and shoot home off the far post. The only blot on his copybook was the fluffed clearance from a corner that led to Parma's goal.


The Ghana midfielder had a solid game on the left side of Milan's three-man midfield but could do little to avoid the slumber his team slumped into. Fiorentina were vibrant, attacking from midfield, and Muntari was caught out several times in the 2-1 defeat with balls being played in behind him to the overlapping Lorenzo Di Silvestri. He finished the game at left-back as Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri threw caution to the wind, bringing on an extra forward in place of full-back Gianluca Zambrotta.


The Morocco midfielder was a busy operator in a lively Fiorentina performance in which the strugglers caused champions Milan a whole host of problems. Although he played well, Kharja was taken off late on for fresher legs.



The Ivory Coast striker was on target again for Levante as they moved back into the Champions League places with a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid. It was a perfect start for the side from Valencia with two goals inside 10 minutes and Kone got the second, heading a Jose Barkero free-kick past the goalkeeper from six yards.

KALU UCHE (Espanyol)

Having arrived in the January transfer window to boost the Espanyol attack, Nigerian Uche has made an immediate impact winning a starting place in the side and he claimed the final touch in their equaliser for a 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad. A strike from Vladimir Weiss took a deflection off Uche on its way into the net.

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